GoD Factory: Wingmen - Recensione
The first thing you think of as soon as you start an online match of GoD Factory: Wingmen is how it is possible that all this sparkle of missiles, huge spaceships and space colors from goosebumps is the work of a team of only seven people. Yet Nine Dots Studio is really a tiny developer, who after having failed his campaign on Kickstarter fortunately found the productive support of Namco Bandai, thus managing to complete the work for this ambitious mix of MOBA and space simulation mixed with arcade .
A genre, that of the fights in deep space with also a strong dose of management of its spaceship, which in recent times has not gone very well and even in this perspective it is possible to see the failure of the project on Kickstarter. It is also true, however, that upcoming titles like Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen, not to mention Strike Suite Zero and its Director's Cut, testify to a small but significant flashback for space shooters and the hope of Ninte Dots Studios with GoD Factory : Wingmen, available a few days ago on Steam for € 19.99, is precisely to engage in this new revival.
It must be said that at the moment the game offers only a 4-on-4 game mode and a rather restricted setting, but the developers have promised to expand these two sectors with new content and in any case already now do not worry about longevity; if you are passionate and if the community grows at the right point, you will pass in front of GoD Factory: Wingmen dozens of hours. We are in fact faced with a very balanced title between a management component, which offers a truly monstrous customization of our ship in terms of variety and completeness, and a much more arcade one, which is then the predominant one of the real fights. As for the first part, Nine Dots Studios has really made an incredible effort to let us empower, modify and personalize our vehicle.
Shields, engine, weapons, navigation systems, individual parts of the ship and other minutiae for any self-respecting space geek provide a very deep management system, although the interface is rather confusing and there is a need for something simpler and immediate. Also for this reason the long tutorial divided by chapters is essential to enter the game and not to feel disoriented in front of so many variations, comparison boxes and technical terms. The upgrade of the ship is entrusted to a classic currency system (the Credits) with the points that are earned during the online matches, unlocking the achievements and more simply completing all the steps of the tutorial. The Shop section is another section of the game where the risk of getting lost between statistics, information and numbers is far from remote. In short, do not hope to spend a few minutes for upgrades and purchases between one match and another; you have to consider every little detail, understand if it's worth spending Credits for a part that maybe adds little compared to what we already have and so on.
So far nothing special, even if everything looks well done and, as we have already said, incredibly detailed and profound. The real strong point of GoD Factory: Wingmen are the online matches and it is here that the mix of arcade and strategic simulation developed by the Canadian team stands out even more. To begin with, the control system is far from difficult, at least for those who already have a minimum of experience with the genre. Nothing prevents you from using a mouse and keyboard, but relying on a pad and configuring it as you like is the best solution, surpassed only by a nice joystick for flight simulations which, however, is not part of my gamer equipment (I will remedy, I promise). You learn good or bad in a few minutes to control our spaceship and to attack, while certain more complex combos and movements (there is also a sort of lateral strafe and drifting) require a minimum of extra attention. The feeling of control is however fluid, smooth and pleasant, so as to remember in some respects that of an Ace Combat in a more simulation mode.
Where GoD Factory: Wingmen reveals its particularity is however in the tactical element. The aim of this (so far) unique game mode is not so much to take out the four enemy spaceships (which helps anyway), but to destroy the opposing mother ship. To do this, you must annihilate the seven parts that make it up, including shields, cannons, communication systems and radars. Each destroyed part naturally affects the efficiency of the enemy mother ship, which will begin to lose attack power and defenses until it completely succumbs and gives us the final victory. Destroying such a colossus has however proved to be a real "hardcore" challenge, not only for the length of the individual matches, but above all because in addition to attacking we must also defend our mother ship from enemy attacks. Collaboration with your teammates is therefore essential to establish a tactic.
Which sensitive part to hit first? Is it better to concentrate on the four enemy ships first or to immediately head to the nerve center of the mother ship? How to organize the defense? To attack immediately in force or to choose a more hit and run tactic waiting for the cannons of our mother ship to fire? In short, this is not the classic dogfight all bullets, reflections and crazy speeds. We must plan, make choices and always keep an eye on the shields and ammunition, which often force us to return to the mother ship for a refill. The achievements are really tough to get and if you love challenges of medium-high difficulty, get ready for long and exciting online matches, even if after about ten hours you would like to throw yourself in some other game mode (maybe a classic and more immediate deathmatch) and see some different spatial backgrounds.
I do not say wider (there is always the risk of exaggerating) but a little more varied and also a more solid narrative background, perhaps to better know the four races of the game (each with well-defined characteristics), it would not be a bad one idea. However, counting the readiness with which the developers have solved the first bugs of day one, we have to bet that we will not have to wait too long for these additions and other adjustments such as a wider customization during matchmaking, to avoid colliding with players much more experienced than us and with ships powered ten times better than ours.
On the graphic side instead GoD Factory: Wingmen convinces fully already now and to strike is the detail of the spaceships, while the effects of explosions and weapons are nothing special. However, considering how small the development team is, one cannot expect miracles and even the musical score, albeit well done and evocative at the right point (who said Homeworld?), Would need a little more variety. Finally, it seems that with an Oculus Rift the game is really wonderful; pity that at the moment there is still no support for the Development Kit 2 and that therefore he has not been able to try the Oculus mode of the game, but also in this case we expect an update in a short time.
After downloading the game from Steam thanks to a review code provided by Namco Bandai, I spent at least a couple of hours with the tutorial stripping all the test chapters, then throwing myself into the online matches that I am still enjoying today with great satisfaction. The game is entirely in English and the 1.0.3 update has been released very recently, but for reasons of time I have not yet been able to install it.